Ime Udoka Biography
Ime Udoka is a former professional basketball player from Nigeria who is now the head coach of the NBA team, the Boston Celtics. He was a small forward for the San Antonio Spurs for three seasons before becoming an assistant coach.
The US-born Nigerian basketball small forward also played for the Nigerian basketball team, helping them win bronze medals at the FIBA Africa Championships in Algeria and Madagascar in 2005 and 2011, respectively.
In 2006, he received the ‘Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award’ as a player. As an assistant coach, he assisted the Spurs to a 4-1 victory over the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals.
|Real Name||Ime Sunday Udoka|
|Birth Date||9 August 1977|
|Age (as of 2022)||45 Years|
|Birth Place||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Nationality||Nigerian – American|
|Profession||Basketball Player and Coach|
|Wife/Partner||Nia Long (engaged)|
|Net Worth||$11.5 million|
Early Life, Childhood and Education
Ime Sunday Udoka was born on August 9, 1977, in Portland, Oregon, to a Nigerian father and an Illinois-born American mother. His father, Vitalis Udoka, is from the Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom.
Mfon, his older sister, is a former WNBA player. Before attending the University of San Francisco, he attended Jefferson High School in Portland. He later changed his major to Portland State University.
Udoka began his basketball career while in college. He has played for Utah State University Eastern and the University of San Francisco before transferring to Portland State, where he was a standout for the Vikings.
Udoka began his professional basketball career with the Charleston Lowgators, who drafted him with the 39th overall pick in the 2002 NBDL Draft. On January 14, 2004, he was called up to the Los Angeles Lakers but was later waived.
After a stint in Europe, he returned to the United States and was drafted in the NBDL once more. In the 2005 NBDL Draft, he was selected third overall by the Fort Worth Flyers. With the Flyers, he averaged 17.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Udoka was signed by the New York Knicks on April 6, 2006. On September 11, 2006, the Knicks waived Udoka.
Udoka was the last player invited to his hometown Portland Trail Blazers training camp before the 2006-07 season, after Aaron Miles failed a physical. Despite his father’s death during the preseason, Udoka impressed the coaching staff with his defensive abilities and was named to the team. After appearing in only 12 NBA games prior to the 2006-07 season, Udoka started 75 of them. He averaged 8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 0.9 steals in 28.6 minutes per game.
Udoka signed a contract with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007. In 73 games, he averaged 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 18 minutes. Udoka appeared in 67 games for the Spurs in his second season, starting three. In 15.4 minutes, he averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds.
Udoka became a free agent after the 2009 season, eventually re-signing with the Trail Blazers. The Blazers waived him on October 22, 2009, but he signed with the Sacramento Kings on November 4, 2009. He appeared in 69 games for the Kings, averaging 3.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per night.
Udoka rejoined the Spurs on November 24, 2010, but was released on January 5, 2011, after only 20 games.
Udoka signed with the New Jersey Nets on December 15, 2011. He was, however, released on December 23, 2011.
Udoka signed with UCAM Murcia of the Spanish Liga ACB in January 2012.
Udoka joined Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach in August 2012. After the Spurs defeated the Miami Heat 4-1 in the 2014 NBA Finals, Udoka would win his first championship.
Udoka was also instrumental in LaMarcus Aldridge’s decision to sign with the Spurs in 2015. During Aldridge’s rookie season, both Udoka and Aldridge played for the Trail Blazers.
Udoka was hired as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers in June 2019. Brett Brown, Udoka’s head coach with the 76ers, also coached under Gregg Popovich for the Spurs, and the two were on the same staff during the 2012-13 season.
Udoka was hired as an assistant coach by the Brooklyn Nets on October 30, 2020.
On June 28, 2021, Udoka was hired as the Boston Celtics’ head coach, becoming the team’s fifth head coach of African descent. Despite starting the season 18-21, Udoka led the Celtics to a 51-31 record and their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.
National Team Career
Udoka was a member of Nigeria’s national team. Udoka led Nigeria in scoring, assists, and steals at the 2006 FIBA World Championships. Udoka also represented Nigeria at the FIBA Africa Championships in 2005 and 2011, winning a bronze medal in both tournaments.
Udoka has worked as an assistant coach for USA Basketball under Gregg Popovich, the Spurs’ head coach. Udoka’s coaching role on the 2019 FIBA World Cup team allowed him to form relationships with Celtics players Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart, all of whom advocated for his hiring as the new head coach in Boston. Udoka, along with Celtics assistant Will Hardy, also coached for Team USA under Popovich at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
In 2010, Udoka began dating actress, Nia Long. On November 7, 2011, they welcomed their first child and son, Kez Sunday Udoka. In May 2015, the couple announced their engagement.
Nia Long has another son from her previous relationship with Massai Dorsey.
Ime Udoka Net Worth
The former professional basketball player has a net worth of $11.5 million. This he has amassed from his career as a professional basketball player and coach.